Kick Butt, Michaelle!

govrnor-general

Governor General of Canada, Michaelle Jean. She’s smart. She’s a fox. She’s really busy right now.

I usually avoid political discussions mainly because they’re boring and also because I don’t really know what the hell’s going on most of the time.

However, the current political situation is so damn interesting, I can’t help myself. I still don’t really know what the hell’s going on, but I do know that all those people who are rolling their eyes and grumbling about our politicians playing silly buggers are missing the big picture.

Yes, we just had an election and the electoral system decided that Stephen Harper was going to be Prime Minister for a bit longer. But I don’t think it’s true that this means we should all shut up and let him do whatever he wants until the next election.

Because, first of all (and this is something Stephen Harper seems to have forgotten as well) being Prime Minister is not like being President or Reigning Monarch. Prime Minister only means you’re the “team leader” – the leader of all the other ministers, not the ruler of the country. The ministers as a group are the rulers of the country.

So the first thing he does as minority team leader is to try and financially hobble the opposition by taking away their electoral subsidy. Then, against all rational economic advice, he decides his answer to the current economic crisis is to shirk all commitments on stimulus spending where and when it is most desperately needed.

His so-called fiscal plan was really just a bizarre Conservative PR exercise; not a sound economic plan for stabilizing the economy. The opposition really had no choice but to take drastic measures. There is no negotiating or reasoning with this PM.

Forming a coalition government is seen as sour grapes by some people, but it’s a big gamble for both the Liberals and the NDP. This could seriously backfire on them. I’d like to believe that they wouldn’t have taken this step unless they thought it was best for the country.

Harper has lost the confidence of Parliament (including some of his own caucus members). On Monday the opposition will exercise their legal right to ask the Governor General to kick his ass to the curb and appoint a coalition of opposition members (or anyone else she chooses) to be “team leader”. Harper will get in first and ask the Governor General to dissolve Parliament until he can dig himself out of this hole. Of course, legally/constitutionally he has to have a better reason than just trying to save his neck, or she’ll be polishing up her ass-kicking boots.

[Then again, Harper might be too  busy  to do much digging as he tries to defend himself on criminal charges  for secretly taping an NDP closed-door strategy meeting and then distributing the tapes to the media.]

In any case, I think a coalition government could be a good thing. It’s not the crazy “banana republic” coup that the political right is making it out to be.  A coalition of parties would work much better with the current American Democratic government; would more fairly represent popular opinion; and would not be insane megalomaniacs.

Switzerland has operated under a coalition of four parties since 1959. They seem to be doing pretty well.

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And, though it may be self-serving in this time of economic crisis, let’s not forget to vote in the Canadian Blog Awards. This is the final round. If you haven’t been paying attention to my incessant whining, XUP is a finalist in the Best New Blog category. CLICK HERE and help me win it all. And, no, you do NOT have to be Canadian or even a blogger to vote.award2

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38 responses to “Kick Butt, Michaelle!

  1. I loved all the talk from the tories about a “coup d’état”. I couldn’t help having visions tanks and gunfire in the streets…

    I also liked all the “why should a party who’s goal is to separate Canada be publicly funded” comments. I’m not a separatist myself, but why shouldn’t the Bloc be funded. Until further notice, it seems to me that we Quebecers are still part of Canada and since our tax money is funding the parties why wouldn’t a Quebec party be funded? But that’s totally besides the point.

    I just want’ Harper’s skinny ass out. Unfortunately, we’ll be stuck with Dion, the dishmop of Canadian politics.

  2. Jazz I am sorry to point this out but by what right does a party who’s principle mission is to separate DESERVE to be funded by the rest of Canada?
    IF you look at the 3 NATIONAL parties I hope that if nothing else we can see that the most qualified person to sit in the office of the Prime Minister is actually Mr. Harper. Admittedly it doesn’t say MUCH but he does represent the safest port in the current storm.

  3. Let’s see “the safest port”? What was herr Harper proposed?
    1/ Cripple all opposition by killing public funding, something that is done in every modern democracy. Meanwhile with the levers of power he is in a perfect position to gain funding for his party.
    2/ Kill pay equity. No doubt paying women less than men will help stabilize the economy and support family values. Unless of course like so many, your family has to have a working mom.
    3/ Kill the right to strike for the civil service. There is no better way to further society than to fuck with the workers. Perhaps labour camps can be next.
    4/ Overlook that little thing about being in a minority. All he had to do was play nice with any one of the 3 opposition parties and this would all be moot. Instead he tried to fuck them, the workers, and nearly all Canadian women.
    I’m not sure that the coalition is a good idea but I am absolutely certain that this overstuffed prick is a bad idea

  4. Ellie – It’s not so much who we want in there as who we want outta there. He got a second chance and blew it, big time. Sound familiar?

    Jazz – It’s not really Dion — he’s the figurehead, but it’s really all of them. And ya, they’re making it sound like some kind of undemocratic overthrow of the government, when it’s a perfectly legal and sensible move — something done in many European countries all the time

    Lebowski – Whether or not separatists “deserve” to be funded is a whole other question. The point is they are and are a legitimate party and so have all the rights of a legitimate party. And Harper may very well be best qualified — we seemed to think so when we elected him again, but he pulled a very bone-headed and frightening move last week. He’s not trustworthy and there are some very serious questions as to whose best interests he’s representing here. He may seem “safe” because he’s the devil we know, but desperate times sometimes call for desperate measures. This coalition, if per chance it’s allowed to happen, will be safer than a minority government headed by a man who believes he knows better than all his advisors; fails to honour his commitments and runs roughshod over citizen’s rights. Whichever way you look at it though, it’s probably the most interesting thing to happen to Canadian politics since Confederation and I don’t really remember that so well.

    Bandobras – Though your points may have been made a tad harshly, I do agree. When times are tough, I don’t see how virtually shutting down the country, cutting off funding from everybody and hoarding money is going to make things any better

  5. Such a great debate 🙂

    And I thought Ottawa was a sleepy government town!

    Harper is a bully -and either he or his advisers blew it – period.

    Women still earn less than men doing equal work – and he wants to get rid of equity?

    I personally know a few people that made the ‘whaddya mean we pay for political parties …..’ comment.

    But think about it – if I recall correctly our election cost 300 grand – how many billions was the US one?

    With Big Oil etc all wanting a president in their pocket.

    We all know that pork will be found anywhere, but keeping donation limits low & public, & using tax dollars to pay for it means a heck of a lot less opportunity.

    Harper is an economist?

    I think he forgot his first year studies

    Thanks all & glad I found you 🙂

  6. I find it more than a little hypocritical of Harper to say that coalitions are undemocratic seeing as he suggested leading one against the Liberals back in 2004.

    “[If Paul Martin’s Liberal minority government falls, you should] consider your options….We respectfully point out that the opposition parties, who together constitute a majority in the House, have been in close consultation…”

    -Stephen Harper, September 2004, in a letter to then-Governor General Adrienne Clarkson, calling for her to ask him to form government in the event that Martin’s minority collapsed”

    Not to mention the fact that more people in Canada voted for Dion, Duceppe and Layton, than voted for Harper. Democracy, see?

    All in all, though, I like the Elgin Street Irregulars’ idea, let the Parliament Hill cats run the country. Catnip for everyone!!

  7. Sometimes I feel like I should be following politics, but I don’t. They don’t interest me. I don’t feel like my vote makes a difference, especially now more than ever, hearing about the three parties joining. ugh. what a mess.. a mess that I choose not to read about.

  8. I really appreciate this post. I also hope that there is a Canadian version of The Daily Show that is helping people through this!

  9. Ellio – Thanks for visiting. This is all down to Harper. His advisers did NOT advise any of this. He got away with pushing through legislation under the threat of election for several years and I guess figured the opposition would cave now since we just had an election. Surprise! Unfortunately too many people are happy to just sit back and let him do what he wants because they’re all pissed off about the last election (which they seem to have forgotten came about because of Harper). It’s going to be an interesting week. Please visit again, soon.

    Alison – Exactly. I was going to mention that, but the post was getting too long. And I agree — cats rule… politicians drool!!

    Guillermo – I agree with you. She’s smart and she’s getting advice from all angles. I’m confident she’ll make the best decision for the country, even if it isn’t what I would choose. Unfortunately, no matter what she does there is going to be years of “what if”

    A&J – This is an historic moment in Canadian politics. Your vote totally makes a difference. Don’t forget that more people didn’t vote for Harper than those that did — so really the coalition is more representative of the will of the people than the current minority government. Cool?

    Missy – It isn’t going to drag on long enough. By the end of Monday the whole thing should be decided — if not before. But yes, we have some excellent dragging-politicians-through-the-wringer programs up here.

  10. Well said, XUP! I can’t believe so many Canadians are buying into the lies and fear mongering the Conservatives are spewing. A coalition government would indeed be more democratic and they certainly couldn’t do any worse than the Harper government has done on the economy. Hope to see you on the Hill tomorrow!

  11. For someone who finds politics “boring” and who says she doesn’t understand it most of the time, you’ve summarized it superbly.
    I’d add: when Harper took power with his second minority government this fall, the other parties could have taken him down then. But they gave him a chance. It was only after he took the course you’ve described so accurately above, that he lost their confidence.

  12. Far be it for me to be defending the Tories (I did not vote Conservative in October), but they listened in on the NDP conference call because some New Democrat wonk goofed and handed the phone number to the Tories.

    The fact remains that under our system of electoral democracy, Harper won the election. Those other three jackasses just won’t accept it, so they are trying to overthrow the government. Under our system, Harper holds the only legitimate right to govern. He should be given more than two weeks to do it. Selfish ambitions of power by two men who will never otherwise be Prime Minister should not interfere. Hell, Dion’s own party doesn’t even want him anymore, so his solution is to be prime minister until his replacement is named in May. Thanks for the vision of stability, Stephane!?!? And in my dictionaries, what Layton, Dion (who call themselves Canadians) and Duceppe are doing amounts to sedition.

    “se·di·tion

    NOUN:

    1. Conduct or language inciting rebellion against the authority of a state.
    2. Insurrection; rebellion. ”

    Harper did rescind his plan to cut off funding to the parties (as well as banning public service strikes). And although I hate what the Bloc stands for, as long as it is a party with seats in the federal parliament, it is entitled to the funding as much as any other party.

    I work with a guy who has been in Canada for ten years, having come here from Russia. He commented on Monday that thank God this is Canada, because in any other country, the coalition trio would have evoked a civil war, and the military would be surroudning Parliament Hill.

    I don’t know how this will all work out. I shudder at the prospects. May God bless Canada.

  13. Kerri – Thanks. Yes, it’s strange isn’t it that just because something is a little new everyone immediately thinks it’s treason. It’s a perfectly legitimate and legal response to a government that isn’t working in the best interests of the people. Democratic countries all over the world do it all the time.

    Harmony – His swarmy performance on TV last night made my skin crawl. He out and out lies and gets called on it right afterwards by the media. Does he think we’re all stupid?

    Bob, Bob, Bob – Asking the GG to appoint a coalition government when the House has lost confidence in the governing party is a perfectly reasonable, legal and important recourse in cases where the governing party is no longer working in the best interests of the country. It’s the most democratic thing possible that we have this option — as opposed to the US where they have to let the most insane person keep running the country until his time is up, no matter what havoc he wreaks. And, as opposed to Russia where as you point out, going against the government is considered cause for civil war). More people did not vote for Harper than voted for him in the last election – so a coaliltion government actually represents more of us than a minority conservative government. Italy, Germany and other European countries use the coalition option all the time. As I said Switzerland has had a 4 party coalition government in place for 40 years. They call it The Magic Formula and don’t even want to go back to a single party government. There is no “overthrowing” or “coup” going on here, despite what Harper wants us to believe. Members of his own caucus are aganist him. Duceppe is NOT part of the coalition despite what Harper keeps saying (and totally burning his bridges in Quebec while he’s at it). I don’t see this as a power play, Bob. Did you watch Harper last night? He has no economic plan. His plan is to tuck money away in his mattress, so that while the country spirals into bankruptcy left right and centre — in a couple of years he can wave big piles of money around and say: See the conservative government came out of this crisis with a surplus. Anyway, it will be interesting to see what the GG decides.

    Quack: Thank you

    Lesley – Just seeing your shining face gives us all hope. It’s like having the Queen stroll by in her finery and waving a little to the minions to reassure us that all is well.

  14. Bob may not have voted conservative but he is certainly doing their work for them. If Harper does not have a majority in parliament prepared to back him it is he, who is subverting the traditions of our democracy. I don’t know about Bob but down here in the booneys neither Harper or Dion were on my ballot. I voted for a representative who is supposed to go to parliament and represent this riding. Not Harper, not Dion, not Layton, not Duceppe. Calling this a coup or sedition or tyranny or revolt does a disservice to our system of government. Shame on you and on Harper.

  15. By the way – Madam Jean has a SWEET SWEET ASS!
    I followed her around one day – really really close! LOL!

  16. Lebowski, the Bloc have no way of, or control on Québec ever separating they are a FEDERAL PARTY and while their belief is for Qué to Separate, as a Federal Party they do not have any such power. Ultimately they are hot air in love with their own Province. They just are a lot more vocal and visible in this NOT mutually exclusive stance of all MPS. It is the PARTI QUEBECOIS, the Provincial part of the separatist movement that can call a referendum in Québec and have a vote on separation.

    That aside, the Bloc will have NO POWER from within the Coalition. They will have no ministers. They will support the Coalition in motions of Confidence only, from OUTSIDE of the governing unit. When you think of it, that’s about as FAR from a separatist position as you can get… standing to SUPPORT a Canadian Government. Not to mention that on top of all that Gilles Duceppe has indicated that he is taking separation off the table during the Coalition’s time in office. When he says that what he is doing, he is doing for Québec is by no means radical or contentious as EVERY elected MP should be doing what they are doing for those that elected them in their ridings and province.

    A few other comments…

    How Harper, that force fed every vote in the commons in the last Government as a mandatory Confidence vote is certainly turning tail If I can’t play and win I don’t wanna play’ grow up Harper, this is not a pick up game in the back parking lot of Loblaws…

    While I’m no great fan of Dion’s (I think he’s Minister quality at best, not PM quality) I think that this is ABSOLUTELY exciting. I’d love to see the coalition have a chance, if only to actually see 2 parties cooperate and join forces instead of fight and be divisive. And in the end I’m more comfortable with the Bloc supporting the coalition because even as Separatists they are at least open and honest about who they are unlike the Conservatives that deceive and lie and pander and ignore and pretend into existence anything and everything to protect their own hide.

    – – –

    What upsets me THE MOST about all of this is why the HELL weren’t the Politicians AND the Public this involved, this engaged, this riled up and vocal during the past, or in my memory ANY past election? This is the saddest part of all in the Canadian Political landscape. As I said on Election Day. “ If you didn’t vote Shut the Hell Up! Suffer YOUR consequences.” …and considering that the last election had the lowest turnout on record I think the current debates are a little too loud based on the number of votes cast on the 14th on October. I’m sorry, but until a NEW election is called those that did not vote in the last election need to lump it.

    – – –

    Lets just hope GG Michaelle Jean doesn’t cock it up more than it is already!

  17. Bandobras – Bob is everyman. This is what the average person on the street is saying, too and what the media seems to be emphasizing for some reason — have you noticed? They quote a lot of Harper with nary a mention of the reality of the situation. I don’t see how anyone who watched the two on TV last night, could still have been bamboozled by Harper’s meaningless and rhetoric filled with blatant and easily disputed lies.

    Lebowski – Yes, thank you that was very helpful in moving this debate forward.

    Kitty – You go, Mr. K!!! I feel reasonably confident that the GG is a smart cookie and will do what’s best, even if it turns out not to be especially right. This is kind of a lose-lose situation for her and no matter what she decides, she’s going to be heavily criticized… for all time. It IS a damn exciting time for Canadian politics, though. I don’t know why more people don’t realize that.

  18. Of course there is a 3rd alternative… Me and XUP could form a coalition of our own…

    I’m sure Bobbiekins would have no issues with this; would you now, bobbie?

  19. Kitty – You’re on. As of this minute though, Parliament has been suspended until the end of January. That will give us time to have the entire House done over in leopard prints.

  20. Just thought I would drop my own personal knuckle dragging opinion.

    However…. as a retort to Misster-Kitty Please read the following:
    “The Bloc Quebecois’ true objective as laid out in their manifesto for the last election:

    A Team Firmly Committed to Sovereignty
    Our team strongly believes that sovereignty is the
    only possible avenue for a nation such as Québec
    that aspires to political freedom. ”

    Sounds like treason to me.

  21. And so now an impotent minority government does NOTHING for two months, two months that NEED ACTION.

    and as soon as the house comes back the government will be toppled.

    WHAT A WASTE!

    Thanks for nothing Gov. Gen Michaelle Jean You’ve made an already cataclysmic mess worse!

    – – –

    Lebowski… I can say I personally believe that the Island of Newfoundland should seperate, and spend my life saying that in Ottawa but no matter what I say there I’ve no power to make it so… None. Ziltch. As I’ve said the Bloc is Hot Air…. and so it seems are Harper and GG Jean.

  22. Lebowski – No problem. You keep the place real.

    Kitty – I don’t know… Harper could conceivably come up with something no one could argue with and apologize to everyone for lying and generally being an asshole and promise never to do it again. Then we could just carry on

    Bandobras/Kitty – I’m staying out of this Nordiques discussion

  23. LMAO! oopsie!

    Allow me…

    XUP, and monkeys might fly out my ass!

    Bandobras… that’s my first plan of action after exiling Harper and working on the economy…

  24. Canadian politics are bizarre. How can a party govern with only 37% of popular vote? In Europe that would be impossible – that party would need a coalition to govern. So, forming a coalition is not as unnatural, not as bad as Harper tries to suggest. And forgive my french, but his clinging to the “separatist” accusation is plainly stupid 😦

  25. self serving, self smerving.

    pimp yo’ self GIRL!

    and just in case you missed my first comment about it, PLEASE email if this situation of voting for you comes up again, kai?

  26. Engramic – THANK YOU and MERCI. It is the Canadian people who blindly swallow everything Harper dishes out the them that are bizarre and stupid. I am quite disappointed in the Governor General for not having the cohones to let the coalition govern; but popular opinion is against her. This whole thing has made the Conservatives soar in the polls to 48%. Silly, silly unwashed masses.

    DP – Well, I don’t know. I just sort of assumed that people who like and read the blog would be liking and reading the blog some time during the last 2 weeks. I can’t see anything else coming up until next year. Stop by now and again, though, just in case. And thanks for your vote